Abusive individuals, stalkers and criminals specializing in destroying or selling human beings (e.g.: human traffickers, pimps, etc.) all have one primary goal in common: isolate the target. If the targeted individual has a protective, supportive, reliable and reasonably healthy community of people, then perpetrating the intended crime is extremely difficult, if not impossible. One method of isolating a specific person is through identifying and targeting their inner circle of friends and family.
This requires establishing rapport with those individuals, which can be done in any number of ways including (but not limited to): flattery, gifts, professional introductions, presenting the ‘good person’ persona (e.g.: at church), telling jokes, flirting, presenting professional credentials (e.g.: clergy, police officer, social services worker, doctor, teacher, psychologist, employee at a respected company, etc.), etc.
Creating an Accomplice
After the relationship has been established and the stalker has built up the trust of the inner-circle-member (read: friend or relative), discussions about the target are initiated. By this point, the stalker has also identified enough of the prejudices, concerns and overall history of the friend or relative and will use this information to convince them to go along with attacking the target.
Invariably, the goal is increased power over the target, potentially absolute control, up to and including selling the individual into modern slavery. The accomplice will either be convinced this goal, as awful as it may sound, is for the best; or they will be told (and believe) the actual goal is something else entirely – but the permanent removal or isolation of the target is usually assumed and accepted.
If the friend or relative has qualms about manipulating the target or other people on the stalker’s behalf, then the selective memory technique is used. This technique involves taking on the role of teacher and training the friend or family member to carefully focus on specific negative memories.
The stalker patiently walks their accomplice through identifying the worst memory they have associated with the target. That one fight they had in the fifth grade, the 12th birthday party that didn’t go as planned or that Saturday night during college when the evening did not end well. It could be a legitimately awful thing the target did, or it could be a normal falling out that occurs during every relationship. What is important is not the legitimacy of the event but the feelings the accomplice had as a result.
In short: remember that one time this person made you feel bad. Every time you’re not sure you can do this, remember that one time he or she made you feel bad.
This is repeated over and over, within the context of a patient and concerned teacher walking the accomplice through necessary painful steps to reach a specific goal.
Training another person to use selective memory to achieve a goal is a form of manipulation. It distorts reality, clouds thinking, and grooms the accomplice for additional activities that are equally unethical and (possibly) illegal.
When a person attempts to convince you (or another person) to focus all attention on a single event, consciously disregarding all other aspects to the relationship, it’s a huge red flag and a clear indication that this individual needs to be kept at a distance or eliminated from your social circle.